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Gates Moonlights For Extra Income?

Tue., March 10, 1998

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has done pretty well selling software. Now he’s taking a swing at selling golf clubs.

Gates agreed to make a television commercial for Big Bertha drivers as a favor to maker Ely Callaway, said Microsoft spokesman John Pinette.

“Bill enjoys golfing. He uses a Big Bertha, and so he said sure he’d do it,” Pinette said Friday.

The commercial also seems to fit into Gates’ efforts recently to paint himself as far less ruthless than the techno-billionaire critics portray. As scrutiny of his software monopoly intensifies in Washington, Gates has tried to assume a more caring, everyday image.

He’s recently made well publicized trips to schools and libraries and appeared on talk shows.

The commercial aired during last weekend’s coverage of the Doral-Ryder Open in Miami.

“Bill is talking about golf (on the commercial) and the fact that he likes it and the fact that it’s really frustrating. He’s been golfing for about five years and hopes he’s getting better,” Pinette said.

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